Google announced new details about its Play Pass video game subscription service Monday, coming in right off the Sept. 19 launch of Apple Arcade.
Google Play Pass comes with similar offerings to Apple’s new game service, which gives Google an edge against their frequent tech competitor. The new subscription offering will likely prove to bring further rivalry, as Apple pivots its business model toward services as opposed to hardware.
Google’s Play Pass launches this week with 350 games and apps for $4.99 a month. Apple Arcade is also priced at $4.99, but focuses specifically on games. Both can be used by up to six family members and are offering deals at launch. Apple Arcade is free for the first month, and Play Pass is $1.99 per month for its first year.
Both Play Pass and Apple Arcade seem evenly matched on pricing, but Play Pass offers more bang for your buck, as well as more flexibility with its library.
With only about 100 games at the moment, Apple Arcade has fewer titles, but its selection is more curated. Apple is working with some well-known developers like Konami pad its library, but the games are exclusives, making Apple Arcade more of a niche service.
While Apple Arcade’s games are only available through its service (and not able to be purchased by non-subscribing Apple device owners), Play Pass apps are available for individual purchase by any Android user. Google Play Pass also has some titles that already have dedicated followings, like Stardew Valley, Limbo, and Risk. It also features big name apps like AccuWeather.
Apple Arcade is tailored for users who want an indie and Apple-approved gaming experience. Unlike Play Pass, which takes a more hands-off approach, Apple is throwing its weight and money behind Apple Arcade. But the games don’t have the mass market appeal that Play Pass titles do.
There’s also the important detail of how to play Apple Arcade and Google Play Pass games. iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and Mac users can take advantage of Apple Arcade subscriptions. Play Pass is available on Android mobile, tablet, and computer devices with the Play Store. Play Pass also works on Android-equipped smart TVs.
While the addition of Apple and Google’s new video game services add yet more subscriptions to mull over, neither service has a must-have experience. That said, both are inexpensive enough (or free) to get people to at least try—and then remain subscribed to, because the prices—and titles—are right.
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